Speaker: Nicola Dijon, Research Scientist at Sosei Heptares
Talk title: GPCR drug discovery – from academia to industry to academia to industry...
Biography: Nicola completed her MSci undergraduate degree in Neuroscience in 2017, including a 12-month placement at Janssen Pharmaceuticals (Beerse,Belgium) working within the in vivo Neuroscience research group. Between 2017-2022, Nicola completed her PhD with Dr Nicholas Holliday and Prof Steven Charlton at the University of Nottingham developing novel biosensors to monitor ligand signalling and binding kinetics at G protein coupled receptors (GPCRs). As part of her PhD, Nicola completed a placement at OMass Therapeutics (Oxford, UK), developing skills in protein engineering and native mass spectrometry for GPCR drug discovery. Following her PhD, Nicola joined a drug discovery hit optimisation project as a research fellow at the University of Nottingham with Dr Nicholas Holliday, Dr Shailesh Mistry and Prof Steven Charlton, funded by the MRC’s developmental pathway funding scheme (DPFS). When looking to move into the industrial drug discovery sector, in November 2023, Nicola joined as a Research Scientist at Sosei Heptares (Cambridge), working towards developing new therapeutics targeting GPCRs.
Speaker: Ashia Wheeler-Crawford, PhD student, University of Nottingham
Talk title: From Jamaica to the UK- My journey in balancing family and research
Biography: Ashia is a third year PhD student in the Drug Discover and Team Science PhD program at the University of Nottingham. She was born and raised in Jamaica where she earned a BSc in Biotechnology in 2008. She then transitioned from a 6-year teaching career to complete a MSc in applied biopharmaceutical biotechnology at the University of Nottingham in 2014. She spent the next 5 years working at a SME within the pharmaceutical industry gaining experience in both formulation and analytical techniques. Her passion for research has led her to pursue a PhD. Her project is focused on the regulation of angiogenesis in triple negative breast cancer by the bromodomain and extra-terminal (BET) proteins. As a student and a mother of two, she has first-hand experience of challenges associated with maintaining a work-life balance and the importance of positive research culture in allowing her to achieve her goals.
Dr Chloe Peach
Speaker: Chloe Peach, Assistant Professor in Molecular Pharmacology, New York University / University of Nottingham
Talk title: For the love of Neuropilin: academia from the UK to the US (and back again)
Biography: Funded by the BPS A.J. Clark Scholarship, Dr. Chloe J. Peach completed her Ph.D. at the University of Nottingham, exploring the spatial and temporal dynamics of how growth factors interact with receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs) and other cell surface glycoproteins involved in tumour angiogenesis. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Peach moved to the U.S. as a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Molecular Pathobiology at New York University, investigating various GPCRs and RTKs involved in chronic pain to explore non-opioid alternatives for analgesia. Here, she was awarded the Leon Levy Fellowship in Neuroscience, studying the role of glycoproteins in RTK-induced pain. In the Summer of 2023, she then moved back to the U.K. to establish her own research group at the University of Nottingham as part of the Centre of Membrane Proteins and Receptors (COMPARE), exploring how RTK pharmacology is modulated by the local microenvironment.
Speaker: Mark Soave, Senior Scientist, OMass Therapeutics
Talk title: The journey so far as a (not so) Early Career Researcher
Biography: Mark completed his PhD (2017) at the University of Nottingham under the supervision of Prof Hill and Prof Woolard where studied the molecular pharmacology of an antibody raised against the Beta-1 adrenoceptor. He continued his research in Nottingham, working with Prof Hill and Dr Briddon to investigate the molecular pharmacology of Class A G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) with biologics and resonance energy transfer techniques. For this work, Mark was awarded the Bill Bowman Prize Lectureship in 2020. Mark has organised several virtual conferences for Early Career Researchers (ECRs), promoting ECR engagement throughout COVID lockdown, and provided a platform for ECRs to showcase their research. In 2021, Mark moved to OMass Therapeutics based in Oxford where he now works as a Senior Scientist within the Pharmacology & Immunology group. Mark is also involved with the European Laboratory Research & Innovation Group (ELRIG), where he is Chair of the Early Career Professional Workgroup and an ELRIG Board Member. He thoroughly enjoys organising and attending events which sit at the interface between big pharma, academia, and biotech. Mark was recently elected as a Fellow of the British Pharmacological Society (2023).
Speaker: Jessica Coley, Neuroscience Undergraduate, University of Nottingham
Talk title: From Undergraduate into Research, Navigating the Transition
Biography: Jessica Coley is a Neuroscience Undergraduate at the University of Nottingham, currently completing her placement year in the COMPARE research Lab. At this Webinar, she will provide an introduction to her background and present her expectations and experiences within her placement year in research. Along side this, she will discuss the benefits of being an undergraduate newly entering pharmacological research and discuss how this can guide you into future, post graduate career stages I.e pHD, Industry etc.